Internet Fragmentation, Reconsidered.

As a part of the CITI Seminars on Global Digital Governance, Andrew Sullivan, President and CEO of the Internet Society, and Vinton G. Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist of Google joined a panel of leading experts in global Internet governance to discuss Internet fragmentation.

What exactly does “Internet fragmentation” mean, and how does how we define the term affect the lines of action in response? The range of perspectives on this is clear from the rapidly increasing global debate and the number of statements made by states and stakeholders on the topic.

Internet fragmentation, or the splinternet, is the opposite of the Internet. The splinternet is the idea that the open, globally connected Internet we all use splinters into a collection of isolated networks controlled by governments or corporations. Politicizing decisions about the Internet’s inner workings sets a dangerous precedent, and the effects may be irreversible.

This webinar sought to help advance our thinking about these foundational questions. The panel explored the nature, sources, forms, and consequences of Internet fragmentation and the responses pursued by governments and stakeholders to date and from now on. 

This webinar was one of a series aiming to foster expert dialogue on the analytical and policy issues that arise across global digital governance’s contested and complex institutional ecosystem. The series sought to build on the debates around multistakeholder Internet governance processes.

Each session started with a roundtable discussion among a panel of leading analysts and practitioners, followed by a discussion involving all attendees.

The sessions was organized and moderated by Dr. William J. Drake, Director of International Studies at the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information.

Date and Time

16:00 – 17:30 UTC

Thursday 17 November 2022